A conference on Saturday, September 10, celebrated the relocation of the last 280 remaining residents of Camp Liberty, Iraq, the main home to Iran’s exiled political opposition.
The last remaining residents of Camp Liberty, Iraq flew out of Baghdad Airport headed for Albania after nearly five years of struggle by the Iranian Resistance to secure their relocation.
The camp, originally a U.S. military installation created in 2003, was a destination point for exiled members of the People’s Mojahiden of Iran (PMOI, or MEK), the largest political opposition group in Iran. Last year, 2,000 people were evacuated from the site to different countries in Europe and especially to Albania.
Alejo Vidal-Quadras, president of the International Committee in Search for Justice (ISJ), said that the removal of the Liberty residents “is an absolute game-changer. We have passed from defensive mode to offensive mode; today, our hands are free. There is no weight on our shoulders to prevent us from moving. Until today, we have resisted; now, we will attack.”
Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), hailed the removal of the Liberty residents as a positive step for global humanitarian causes.
“Both houses of British parliament; parliaments of Iceland, Canada, Egypt…I can only say that we do not possess any oil wells, or warships, or other powers…It was a much greater power that came to our aid, and that was the power of conscience and dignity. These are examples of the moral and ethical power of contemporary mankind.”
French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt spoke of the strong emotions she felt when seeing images of the last residents of Liberty being flown out of Iraq. Betancourt, who was held hostage in Colombia for several years, shares firsthand experience of living under constant psychological pressure with the Liberty residents, who were subject to 24-hour loudspeakers and proxy attacks by Tehran. Camp Liberty was also subjected to 5 rocket attacks and a military siege to prevent food, water, fuel, and medicine from entering the city.
The removal of the last residents of Camp Liberty is an important victory for the resistance and the culmination of years of effort to relocate them. Members and supporters of the resistance hope that this will represent a tipping point in the cause of political change in Iran.